Miles Figg, the Skidmore City Attorney, started the meeting by admitting he had misinformed the council on the sheriff’s office being able to enforce city ordinances. Municipal ordinances are on par with civil violations which doesn’t come under the sheriff’s jurisdiction. The sheriff’s office enforces state laws.
Strong said his office has been to Skidmore over 200 times since the first of the year, either on patrol or to respond to calls. There are currently 14 deputies who cover Nodaway County’s 877 square miles. There are two shifts per day, with three officers needed for court duties. He said the office has seen an increase in mental health calls.
There is a shortage of law enforcement officers as people are not applying. It takes six months of training to become an LEO and costs approximately $8,000 for the schooling, Strong said.
Eric Davis complained of air pellet damage to his house, vehicles and property. The 10-year resident said he has had damage for the past seven years and expressed frustration that the persons responsible have not been found. He said Skidmore hasn’t had effective police enforcement for the past 40 years.
Cheryl Huston asked about youngsters driving on city streets. Strong said individuals have to have a driver’s license to operate vehicle on streets. Often times the underage operator has stopped by the time the deputy can respond.
Lou White inquired about Skidmore hiring an off-duty police officer, but with the shortage of officers none are available.
Neighbors need to look out for each other, resident Rick Stanton said. People need to come forward as witnesses to stop theft and vandalism.
Alderman Rana Killings-worth asked if complainant can request call not go out over the police band. Strong said to make a request to the dispatcher that the information be phoned to the deputy.
In other city business, Mayor Sandy Wright has applied for the CARES Act through Nodaway County, to reimburse the city for supplies purchased to renovate city hall to be used as a food pantry. Other COVID-19 expenses include installing a phone line and internet in Newton Hall to allow families to use for online schooling.
Wright encouraged other communities to apply for the CARES funding through Nodaway County Collector Treasurer Marilyn Jenkins’ office.
After completing two readings each of three ordinances and one resolution, all was passed by the city council. These were:
• Resolution Number 10-08-20, giving Wright the authorization to execute and file application for the City of Skidmore for the upcoming wastewater treatment facility upgrades.
• Ordinance 2020-WR, which repeals Ordinance#2017-WR and raises the water rates $5 starting November 1 to $40 for the base rate for first 1,000 gallons used. Beginning March 1, 2021 the base rate will be $44. Customers outside the city limits will pay $44 for the first 1,000 gallons and $10 per additional 1,000 gallons.
• Ordinance 2020-Sewer, which repeals Ordinance 2019-SR and changes the sewer rate minimum charge of $24 to $30 for the first 1,500 gallons beginning November 1. The minimum charge will increase an additional $5 to $35 beginning March 1, 2021.
• Ordinance 2020Alley Closure-Wetzel, vacating the south 125 feet of the alley between North Maple and North Ash to Russ and Carla Wetzel. The city will retain easement rights and no permanent structures will be erected on the property.
The brush burn pile has been closed. The city is waiting for a load of gravel for the roadway to the south side of the mud pit for the new burn pile.
At the September 10 closed city council meeting, the council approved reducing Water Superintendent Marvin Sumy hours to 20 per week and discontinue the monthly insurance reimbursement. The decision was made to hire a part-time employee to read water meters and perform other duties as needed. At the October 8 meeting, it was announced Remington Long had been hired to fill the part-time position.